View Full Version : Looking for critique partner(s) {western supernatural horror}

02-12-2014, 12:52 PM
Please do not mind the post count; big communities intimidate the hell out of me.

Iím looking to do a novel swap or two. If we are a good match, I would love to see this evolve into a more permanent thing in which we continue to critique each otherís work, share the joys and pains of being a writer, and through guilt, shame, and competition push one another to write just a few more words every day. If you are looking to only beta, well, do get in touch too, and maybe we can work something out.

So a little about myself and my project then: I write fiction exclusively, preferably with an edge of fantasy, magic, or the supernatural. My usual work is a little on the heavier and intellectual side. (Perhaps in a year... or two... or three, I will have my first novel in beta, a dark fantasy intrigue piece.) The project Iím looking to have critiqued right now however is more of a light, fun read, insofar as supernatural horror is light and fun.
At 52k, it is certainly light. I cannot write a blurb or synopsis to save my life, but you may laugh or weep at my attempt.

My main character recounts the events of his life from the time he was a young boy crossing into the United States to become a priest, through all the twists and turns of life that confronted him with some of the weirder parts of the Wild West and swept him along struggling to survive, to the one decision heís made in his life: to try to kill a reverend.
Prologue below for a better sense of style.

To whoeverís reading this

If youíre reading this, the world ought to be a better place or Iíve failed to do what I set out to do Ė and if Iíve failed, Iím probably dead, and if Iím dead, I need you to finish what I started and do what I couldnít: kill Reverend Ezekiah Grimme.

The guy across the counter tells me it is November 2nd 1877. The place Iím sending this to is the Tombstone Epitaph, care of Lacy OíMalley, in Tombstone, Arizona.

OíMalley, you donít know me, but Iíve met a guy that works for you called Levy Bruckner. From what heís told me, you have the connections to get this somewhere it counts, and I hope to God after reading this youíll understand why it needs to be done.

Now things donít always get to where they need to go. If youíre not OíMalley, if youíve found this, you know what Iím asking. If you canít, if you wonít, get it to someone who will.

And if itís the worst of wrong hands this got into: burn in hell, you son of a bitch.

Writing is my passion, and my ambition is traditional publishing. Iím looking for constructive, honest criticism as harsh as you see fit... with maybe the occasional pat on the head to remind me I have not completely failed at life. One important thing to note is that Iím looking specifically for native speakers. That is not to discount the undoubtedly invaluable advice I could receive from a non-native speaker, but the thing is... I'm not native myself, and as practiced as I feel I am, I need someone to point out when and where I go astray, particularly if thereís a pattern. Iím not asking for line-by-line, but yeah, any awkward phrasings you could pick out would be greatly appreciated.

A side note: if my clumsy attempts at scribbling a novel should endear you and waken instincts of hand-holding, I might also be open to a mentorship. I am certainly oblivious to the business side of things.

Now what do I offer in return? I confess Iím not a veteran when it comes to beta-reading, though my significant other will attest that rarely a book, film, or series passes through my hands without being utterly scrutinized. Iím a slow reader, but Iím thorough and have a good eye for detail. You shouldnít really look to me for line-by-line, but I like to think I have a good feeling for flow, plot, character development, and pacing. Iím open to reading most genres except for erotic fiction (though a sex scene here and there shouldnít bother me), but you might lose me if your fantasy or sci-fi is a little too high-concept.

Iíll stop typing now, so please do shoot me a message or post here if you think you might be interested in any way.